Most parents of teenagers likely feel as if they’re raising adults rather than children yet to reach adulthood. While kids have a more sophisticated and mature attitude today than when we were growing up, the fact is they are still children. The law doesn’t view them as adults in most circumstances, especially when it comes to protecting them from harm an adult can subject them to. One place this seems to be a burgeoning problem is the social networking platform, OnlyFans.
You haven’t heard of OnlyFans? Picture a place where interests in creative product marketing, pornography, money, and children looking for attention and acceptance all converge, making it easy to sexually exploit children can very quickly turn into child sexual abuse and assault. Your child has a right to hold anyone who aided in his or her abuse accountable.
What is the OnlyFans app?
OnlyFans is a website that allows anyone who creates content to post it to their account just like TikTok or Instagram. It sounds straightforward enough, but there’s a small twist in that members can set their content up behind paywalls that their followers – or Fans – must pay to access. The content creator can require a subscription payment for access to their entire account or set it so that fans only must pay a one-time fee for access to special content.
YouTube influencers and celebrities like Beyoncé use the site to create more buzz about their brands and increase revenue streams. Just the fact that teenage idols are using the platform is enough to draw younger kids to it like moths to a flame.
The website boasts security measures to guarantee that its users are legal by requiring those applying for accounts:
- Be over the age of 18.
- Provide a photo of their valid government-issued identification card such as a driver’s license.
- Provide a selfie photo to accompany the identification card.
What makes OnlyFans unsafe?
Teenagers are savvy and many are seeking to become the next big name when it comes to making it as an influencer – sometimes at any cost. Kids often assume the internet is a safe place to post photos. When they see themselves gaining notoriety on the site and money starts to roll in, they feel even more empowered to take it further. Posting more risqué content often translates to more money.
Sex sells and if you’re young and posting suggestive, or even sexually explicit material, you’re likely to gain a lot of followers and quickly. OnlyFans has estimated that those with 10,000 followers can make anywhere between $500 to $2,500 a month. The site has approximately 30 million users with 150,000 new accounts being approved every 24 hours, so it doesn’t take long to do the math. Kids don’t see the danger in posting a few photos when they’re making more with 15 minutes of effort than they would in a month of slaving away in a retail job at the mall.
There are real risks such as:
- Kids are finding ways around security measures to open accounts and OnlyFans is happy to oblige.
- More underage girls are drawn to posting explicit content, which can result in eventual sex trafficking.
- Stalkers following accounts turn up in person making threats of physical harm.
- Content doesn’t stay on their website under their control and has already been leaked.
- Children can be lured by strangers with promises of bigger payouts for photoshoots, commercials, or movie auditions and are sexually assaulted.
Your child may end up a victim in more ways than one
Another danger your child may not have thought out while accessing an OnlyFans account is that site is allowing underage kids to slip through and create adult content. Your son or daughter may be illegally accessing content of a someone under the age of 18, which may be illegal depending upon the content and age. Your child’s life may be forever ruined by winding up on a sex offender registry.
Protect your children by:
- Putting a block on their devices to prevent access to OnlyFans.
- Discussing the dangers with them about these sites and lay the ground rules for maintaining internet privileges.
- Periodically checking the browsing history on devices in your home, including your child’s phone and laptop.
Irresponsible social media sites can provide a platform for individuals to harm your child. If your son or daughter has become a victim of sexual assault after using OnlyFans or other social media sites that failed to protect them, the Los Angeles child sexual abuse and assault attorneys at Taylor & Ring offer victims fierce advocacy when pursuing civil claims against perpetrators who enable the illegal pursuit of children for sexual encounters. To schedule your free confidential consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, call us at 310-776-6390, or we welcome you to reach out to us through our contact form.
John C. Taylor is one of the most accomplished and nationally recognized trial lawyers in California. The broad variety of cases he has tried during his career is matched by few attorneys, trying more than 125 cases to verdict, including: police shootings and civil rights, sexual abuse, serious personal injury, wrongful death, products liability, insurance bad faith, and employment.
Read more about John C. Taylor.